UPDATE 1-Nigeria inflation rises to four month high on food costs

Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:37am EST

Related Topics

* Consumer inflation rises to 12.3 pct yr-yr in Nov

* Food prices pushed up by worst flooding in 50 years

* Core index, closely watched by central bank, jumps higher (Adds core inflation, quote, background)

ABUJA, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Nigeria's consumer inflation rose to its highest in four months in November as the impact of the country's worst flooding in 50 years pushed up the cost of food, data showed on Monday.

Headline inflation quickened to 12.3 percent year-on-year in November, from 11.7 percent in October and the highest since July, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

Food inflation, the biggest contributor to the consumer index, rose to 11.6 percent year-on-year in November, from 11.1 percent in October.

"Higher food prices continue to reflect the impact of recent floods on the production of farm produce, (and the) resulting difficulty of moving food products to markets across the country," the NBS said in a report.

Nigeria's worst flooding in at least half a decade between July and mid-October killed 363 people and displaced 2.1 million, the national emergency agency said.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile agriculture items, jumped to 13.6 percent year-on-year in November, from 12.4 percent in October. The central bank closely watches the core index when making interest rate decisions.

"Increases in the core index was as a result of ... higher housing, electricity, gas (prices) ... in particular rent prices, increased liquid fuel prices such as kerosene ... air transportation costs, and clothing prices," the NBS said.

Nigeria's central bank kept interest rates on hold at 12 percent last month for the seventh time in a row, resisting calls to reduce lending costs because of concerns over inflation. (Reporting by Joe Brock; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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